Spicy Sausage & Tomato Soup

July 2014 785
This new soup comes to me from my dear cousin Megan, who also knows her way around the kitchen. This is an incredibly tasty addition to my soup rotation…I mean, the girl put BACON in her soup! We obviously share the same genes!!

I did make a few “tweaks” to the recipe …The original recipe called for slightly less meat and added Cannellini & Kidney Beans, which could easily be added back into the soup if so desired.

What you will need:
• 4 Slices of thick bacon, chopped
• 12 oz Hot Italian Sausage
• 12 oz Andouille Sausage
• 1 Red Onion, chopped fine
• 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on heat preference)
• 4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
• 1 Bay Leaf
• 28 oz whole, peeled, tomatoes
• 14 oz stewed tomatoes
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 3 c chicken broth (I ended up adding 2 more cups, personal preference)
• 1 c of Zucchini, halved and sliced thick
• 1 c chopped fennel
• 4 c (about of chopped Kale)
• 1/4 cup white wine
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Garnish (optional)
• Shredded Parmesan
• Parmesan & chia seed crisps

How it’s done:
1. In a pan or dutch-oven, add chopped bacon, fry until fat begins to render, and ends become crispy. Add sausage, brown meat then remove from the pan, set aside.

2. Add onions to pan, cook until softened.
a. Add Fennel, cook until they begin to brown
b. Add garlic for the last 30 seconds…do not burn the garlic.
c. Add the tomato paste & white wine, mix ingredients well.

3. Scrape the sides of the pan into your soup pot (or if using a dutch-oven, just scrape the cooked bits from the walls) Add Tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and meat to the pot
4. Cover and let simmer 30 min
5. S&P to taste
6. Add Zucchini for last 5 min
7. Kale will wilt rapidly with the heat of the soup, (so for best color& texture) add only when you are ready to serve.
8. Top with Parmesan & ENJOY!

Fried Mozzarella

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You know, sometimes, there comes a day when you just want to fry some cheese.  When those days come along, I say go for it!

What you will need:

  • Olive Oil or Coconut oil
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (dried with a paper towel) and cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Coconut Flour or All purpose Flour
  • Gluten Free Breadcrumbs or Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Optional additions: Homemade Marinara, fresh basil, fried bell peppers.

How it’s done:

  1. Dredge the mozzarella in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs (I like them really crunchy, so I do this step twice) Set them aside.
  2. Heat oil on medium in a pan.  Once oil is hot add the mozzarella and lightly brown all sides.  Takes about 2 min. 
  3. Serve immediately

Creamy Oven Roasted Tomato Soup with Mozzarella

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Another of my favorite “comfort meals” is Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese…but have you looked at the ingredients for your favorite canned soup recently?  SO i had to figure out how to make this myself!  In place of the grilled cheese I also made Grain Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits!!

What you will need:

  • 2 lbs of ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 16 oz of vegetable broth
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil

How it’s Done:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut each tomato into 8 equal parts and place them on the parchment paper, skin side down.
  • slice onion, half the garlic cloves  and add to cookie sheet
  • drizzle with olive oil
  • Roast for 40 min
  1. Transfer roasted vegetables with roasting juices to a large sauce pan and add vegetable broth, thyme & bay leaf.  Simmer for 20 min.
  2. Remove thyme and bay leaf…puree the soup.
  • I waited for the mixture to cool then pureed it in my Blendtec
  • Then added it back to the sauce pan  to re-heat
  • Season to taste
  1. While the soup warms, slice the mozzarella thin
  2. Serve the soup & add mozzarella on top…enjoy!

 

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits (Grain-Free Red Lobster Biscuits)

What you will need:

  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, cold
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened (I used salted)

**Finish with Salted butter & dried or fresh parsley

 How it’s done:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well blended.  
  3. Use scoop to scoop out dough onto un-greased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or not, see notes above).
  4. Space 2-3 inches a part.
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes for small biscuits and 20 minutes for medium biscuits.  
  6. Once out of oven, smear a bit of salted butter and sprinkle with a little parsley. Best served warm.

Recipe from: http://satisfyingeats.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/cheesy-cheese-garlic-biscuits/

Cauliflower Crust Pizzettes

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With parties and family gatherings on the horizon this is a great alternative (no grain) “finger food” or appetizer!! 

I’ve made the “cauliflower crust” in the past and I promise that THIS one works…the trick is making sure that the Cauliflower Rice is REALLY, REALLY dry.

What you will need:

Crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (cut into small floretts, you should have about 3 cups once processed)
  • 1/2 c of Mozzarella cheese shredded (I used fresh, it was tricky to “shred” but worth the trouble)
  • 1 egg  (I only use Pastured Eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil

Topping:

  • More shredded Mozzarella
  • Tomato slices (I used what I had, grape tomatoes, sliced thin)
  • Fresh basil

How it’s done:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, line cookie sheet with parchment paper, and grease with Olive Oil
  2. Take the raw cauliflower and process it in your blender or food processor (until riced)
  3. Heat large sauce pan (to cook processed cauliflower) of water to boiling, add Cauliflower…let cook for 5-8 min…until tender.
  4. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
  5. Transfer Cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and let it cool slightly (you don’t want to cook your egg just yet) 
  6. Add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Scoop one tablespoon of cauliflower mixture and drop onto the baking sheet. Pat into a thin round circle about 2-inches wide. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  8. Cook for about 20 min, or until slightly golden.
  9. Remove from oven and top each pizzette with shredded cheese, tomato slices.

10. Broil until the cheese melts and the tomatos are slightly roasted (3-5 min)

11. Remove from oven, let them cool (5 min), top with fresh basil…and Serve!

Recipe inspiration from : www.theironyou.com

Scallop BLT

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Prep/Cooking time: 20-30 min

Difficulty 3/5 

(for me the “3” comes from trying to get a decent sear on the scallops in a stainless-steel pan)

It is great as first course or appetizer!!

What you will need:

  • 10-12 (or an even number of scallops)
  • EVOO & Butter for frying scallops
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes sliced
  • Butter lettuce – cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 thin slices of prosciutto – baked in oven until crispy

For Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 c Mayo
  • 1c Dill relish (I NEVER use sweet)
  •  tbsp minced onion
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • S&P to taste

How it’s done:

  1. Assemble ingredients for Tartar sauce and refrigerate
  2. Scallops – rinse and pat dry before frying
  3. Add EVOO and Butter to hot frying pan, sear scallops (light brown color on each side…BUT be careful NOT to overcook)
  4. Assemble the stacks as shown…may require toothpicks for presentation

Roasted Margarita Spaghetti Squash

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Such a pretty looking dinner. 

This may qualify as one of my new comfort food dishes… Fresh flavors and super filling…and SO easy!

What you will need:

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 c. Finley chopped fresh basil
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

How it’s Done:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. (If it’s too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes.)
Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.

Recipe inspiration: http://acurvygirlsjourney.com